Supplies of all blood products extremely low; Calling for local donations
January 8, 2020
Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford Blood Center (SBC) is facing a critical need for all blood types after the busy holiday season and is asking Bay Area residents to come out and donate as soon as possible to meet the immediate needs of local patients.
Higher than expected usage in December, coupled with lower collections due to donors being away for the holidays, has depleted the local blood supply. Currently, all blood types are needed — the O positive and O negative inventories in particular are down to only a one-day supply — and, unless we see a spike in donations, we will not have enough products on the shelves to fill all hospital requests this week.
Blood donors are strongly encouraged to give in the coming days to help replenish the blood supply to sustainable levels during this critical time. “Blood takes time to collect, test and prepare for use. It’s the blood that we have readily available that allows us to save a life at a moment’s notice, whether it’s in support of a trauma patient or emergency surgery, so we’re urging the community to please consider donating this week,” says SBC spokesperson Ross Coyle. “All it takes is about an hour of your time, and you can help save the lives of up to three patients with a single donation.”
“Stanford Hospitals transfused 25 percent more red blood cells (RBCs) and 37 percent more platelets in December 2019 compared to 2018,” said Dr. Suchi Pandey, Chief Medical Officer at Stanford Blood Center. “In mid-December, patients required close to 2,000 blood products in a single week, the highest utilization of blood in a one-week period for all of 2019.” These transfusions represent a growing number of individuals in the community whose lives depend on the generosity of blood donors. “During the past two holiday weeks alone, over 700 patients, including 140 children, received transfusions from our partner hospitals,” she said.
Less than 10 percent of the U.S. population donates blood annually. If you’re thinking about donating for the first time, this is your chance to start the New Year off right by helping save lives. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment at one of three donation center locations in Campbell, Menlo Park, or Mountain View. There are also a number of mobiles open to the public this week, including blood drives in Los Gatos, Palo Alto, San Jose, and at SBC Headquarters at 3373 Hillview Avenue in Palo Alto. The Hillview drive will be held Thursday, January 9 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and offers a free $10 Amazon.com Gift Card delivered via email to anyone who registers to donate. Appointments can be scheduled online at stanfordbloodcenter.org or by calling 888-723-7831 for same-day appointments.
Donors should be in good health with no cold or flu symptoms. They should eat well prior to donation, drink fluids, and present a photo ID at the time of donation. Eligibility information can be found at stanfordbloodcenter.org/eligibility or by calling 888-723-7831.
About Stanford Blood Center
Stanford Blood Center (SBC) is an independent, community blood center that supplies blood products and testing services to multiple Bay Area hospitals and is a recognized leader in the fields of transfusion and transplantation medicine. SBC was created at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1978 to meet the complex transfusion and transplant needs of Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, as well as provide clinical trial services and specialized blood products for researchers. Today, the center remains locally focused, serving community hospitals, patients and donors, while contributing to research and advancement that impact the world at large. More information is available at stanfordbloodcenter.org.